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Fall

Chewy Chai Masala Snickerdoodles

Cookies, Desserts, Fall, Holiday, Quick and Easy, The Holidays

The Year of Cozy came out three years ago. THREE YEARS! That’s insane. Time goes by so quickly. I have to say, I’m so proud of that little book. It’s a little book that could.

This has hands-down been the most-made recipe out of the entire book. These snickerdoodles are delicious. They’re chewy, perfectly spiced with a combination of black pepper, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. I love giving these away because they have a bit of staying power. They taste delicious even if they’re not straight from the oven.

The chewiness is heavenly. I attribute the cream cheese to their good texture. It’s truly magical in these.

I’m going to be honest and tell you that I don’t drink a ton of dairy milk but man, with these cookies, a glass of milk is SO GOOD.

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Pumpkin Funfetti Cake

Cakes, Desserts, Fall, Thanksgiving

For the past few years, Josh and try and take one vacation a year. We spend a lot of time dreaming about where we’re gonna go to next. 2019 is Paris (hopefully!) neither of us have been, so we can’t wait!

Every year we try and make sure we have enough points so our flights or hotel are covered. This makes the expense of the vacation itself a whole lot more manageable.
That’s why I’m super excited to be teaming up with American Express and their new Gold Card to share with you how to earn points for doing the things you love!

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Cozy Beef Autumnal Stew with Creamy Cauliflower Mash

Dinner, Fall, Healthy, Quick and Easy

I’m shocked to say that I think this might be one of the only stews on this entire blog. When I realized this, I was shook! I grew up eating stews of all kinds because my mother believed in the power of warm food on a cold day. It can turn your mood completely around and feel like you just ate a huge hug.

In film school I was known—and yes, I say this braggingly–to always have the best food on my sets. I would approach local restaurants and ask for a donation, i.e., meals. And they would happily cater our shoots because we were poor college students of the arts and they loved what we created. Panera was one of those places that donated.  And on one of the coldest days in October, we had their broccoli and cheddar soup with sandwiches and bread and salads; it transformed everyone’s mood. It was magical to see what the power of a good meal could do for people working hard.

I’m super happy to be teaming up with Panera for this post to speak about their new six-episode video series called Food Interrupted. Each episode follows leaders in the food world as they meet everyday heroes who have dedicated their lives to changing America’s food system. The fifth episode, Meat Interrupted, follows two chefs learning and showing ways to humanely raise animals. They speak about the differences between grass-fed and grain-fed, And the ways cows should live out their lives in fields of grass. It’s a fun watch, here’s a link!

I admittedly don’t eat an enormous amount of meat. I love vegetables (and cake) but when I do eat meat, I try and eat responsibly-raised meat. It’s not always easy for everyone due to access and budget, I totally understand this. However, Panera is committed to using responsibly-sourced, antibiotic free meat in their establishments and I think that’s really awesome. Continue Reading

Pumpkin Tahini Loaf

Breakfast, Fall, Quick and Easy, Scones & Muffins, Thanksgiving, The Holidays

Sometimes recipes are accidents. Does this ever happen to you? Where you add, like, one spice to something and then it turns into something else. Or maybe you accidentally mess something up and it’s a becomes a happy accident?

Billy told me that he was bored so he put peanut butter on a slice of pumpkin bread and it turned out to be amazing! So when he came over the other day and I was like, “I wanna make a twist on pumpkin bread,” he suggested I use tahini. I thought hmm…ok let’s try it. We were SHOCKED at how good it was. It didn’t sound awful but also didn’t sound like an absolute winner. You all, it was a winner delicious!

So here we are…

Whenever people ask me, “I’m not a baker, what should I bake as my first go?”

I always suggest a quick bread or cookies.

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Delicata Squash Ricotta Baked Shells

Dinner, Fall, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

I’m currently sipping tea, attempting to heal my sore throat that is feeling all raspy and weary. On Saturday night I went to Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal Studios and screamed like the gigantic baby that I am.

Why is that we know it’s fake but believe it’s real. Lol. Our brains are so complicated.

Monsters and gremlins jumping out at me really drained my energy too because I’m currently a lil’ bit exhausted. Luckily I healed my self with a big Cinnabon cinnamon roll and a batch full of shells I had waiting for me in the freezer.

Let’s talk about shells today. Beautiful, big, glorious shells. I honestly have no idea why I don’t make them more. Whenever I make them,I’m like, why don’t I do this needs to be on a weekly rotation.

They’re also an amazing thing to gift. If you have someone in your life who is having a surgery, is sick, having a baby, etc., this is a great thing to drop off their house. They will love you forever.

You can also make this batch and eat half and freeze half.

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Spooky Mummy Pumpkin Pop Tarts

Desserts, Fall

If you have followed me for a while then you probably know that I’m not really the type to give you an appetizer that is also made up of “bloody” cupcakes, or a spooky one-eyed appetizer…or something green and murky with a chocolate monster coming out of it.

You see, me and Halloween are really not a vibe. And that’s ok. There are some holidays that’s aren’t me and I just let them pass without giving them any real attention. Halloween has been that type of holiday for me for a long time. Except this year…maybe.

My lukewarm sentiments towards Halloween started as a kid. Haunted houses actually scared me. A Charlie Brown Halloween gave me nightmares. I hated dressing up (so uncomfortable), disliked the stories about potential grownups giving us spiked candy that was filled with razor blades (do they still tell kids these scary stories?) and generally would pass on anything bright orange.

But over the past couple of years, I’ve come to like it. Like, ok maybe I’ll buy some Halloween candy, I’ll dress up Amelia in a costume that she hates but tolerates. Maybe I’ll bring a bloody finger appetizer I found off Pinterest to this party. And maybe I’ll dress up.

This year I’m dipping my toe in once again with these spooky mummy pumpkin pop tarts.

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Masala-Chai Carrot Cupcakes with Spiced Maple Frosting

Cakes, Desserts, Fall, Quick and Easy

I’m currently in the middle—what I like to call—autumnal chaos. I am busy editing photos every night until 10pm, which also means I’m consuming a large amount of reality television. I’m incredibly embarrassed to admit that I have watched every.single.episode of Shahs of Sunset and I have so many opinions about them. The other day I went to their neighborhood (West LA) and I was like, “If I run into one of them…I won’t be able to control myself!” I was bummed I didn’t see them.

One recipe that was at the very top of my to-make list this season was to fall-ify carrot cupcakes. This is inspired by some ras al hanout carrot cupcakes in Casablanca: My Moroccan Food.

Carrot cake is already filled with spices but with these cupcakes we’re just adding WAY more, while also adding some other spices in the mix.

These cupcakes are glorious to freeze. And then thaw in the fridge when you’re ready to eat and serve.

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Best Fall Cookbooks 2018

Adventures, Fall

1. Sister Pie – I baked up their hand pies and they were awesome. I love this book!

2. Ottolenghi Simple – I love everything that he cooks. Sometimes I’ll go on Ottolenghi’s Instagram and just stare at his food. I love the sound of a book full of his simplified, easy, weeknight recipes. I can’t wait to cook from this book this over and over and over.

3. Cravings Hungry for More – I love me some Chrissy and I think this book is gonna be my go-to gift this holiday season.

4. Israeli Soul – I’ve never eaten Michael Solomonov’s food. I need to get to Philly at some point, but I’ve cooked a few of his recipes from his last book and they did not disappoint. SO GOOD.

5. A Common Table – I love Cynthia’s recipes and Instagram feed so I’m super excited about this one. The food is Chinese food meets Korean food with a love story in the background—can’t wait.

6. Estela – This book looks so beautiful, as does all of Ignacio Mattos’ food.

7. Carla Hall’s Soul Food – I am here for Carla Hall’s spoonbread and okra soup. I looooove Southern food and am excited to try her iterations of American classics.

8. Bestia – Whenever people ask for a restaurant recommendation in Los Angeles, my first is always Bestia (and now their new place, Bavel). It’s always booked solid, and for good reason. I’m super excited to cook from their new book, Bestia.

9. Ina Garten Cook Like a Pro – I was thinking about the people who taught me how to cook and early on, it was Ina. Her show gave me courage and inspiration to try sort of hard dishes. The ease of her recipes—even the more difficult ones—gave me the bravery I needed in order to braise a $30 piece of meat lol. Love her so much.

10. Now & Again – I have Julia Turschen’s first book and her meatballs were SO good. I’m excited to get my hands on this new one because I think she writes recipe so very well.

11. I Am A Filipino – Filipino food has become the new hot food and I am here for it! I love Filipino food but have yet to try and make it at home. I think this book will give me the direction I need.

12. Solo – I always love recipes for one (or two). They take a lot of creativity and ingenuity. And this cover is super pretty.

Cheddar Rye Apple Hand Pies

Fall, Pie, Thanksgiving

I gotta a new pie book in the mail and I LOVE IT! The world needs more pie, I think. Especially this week (and after last week) lol. Last year, I was in Chicago for work so I decided to take a quick trip to Detroit to visit my brother who had just moved there for a job. And while he was at work, I asked some of you for recommendations and the number one place you cute people told me to visit was Sister Pie. I was super excited. I jumped in his car (he lent me) and drove to Detroit. I drove around, took in the city and then stopped dropped in.

The place is vibrant, warm and feels like a place that serves the community. The case was jam-packed with baked goods so I ordered one of everything! When I got this book in the mail, I was pumped.

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Chai-Spiced Apple Skillet Cake

Cakes, Fall, Quick and Easy, Thanksgiving

This is the time of year where Los Angeles weather is totally erratic. One day it’ll be 90 degrees and then two days later you’l need a sweater and some hot coffee to get your day started. By now, I know which one I get excited about.

I’m currently wearing a sweater so I feel like it’s appropriate to discuss this chai-spiced apple skillet cake with you all. I wanted to provide a recipe that is super easy. Something that you can throw together in a one, two steps max. This skillet cake is it!

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